At Valley, our neurosurgeons researched and pioneered several neurointerventional devices and procedures used to treat strokes:
The Solitaire device is now being used at The Valley Hospital to retrieve blood clots in patients suffering a stroke. The device was approved by the FDA in 2012, and Valley is one of the first hospitals in the nation to acquire and use the technology.
The Solitaire is inserted through a small incision in the groin using a thin catheter that is threaded to the location of the clot in the brain. The device has a self-expanding, stent retrieval design that compresses and traps the clot. The clot is then removed by withdrawing the device, thus reopening the blocked blood vessel.
Neurointerventionalists use the Solitaire device to restore blood flow to the brain in patients suffering acute ischemic stroke by mechanically removing blood clots from blocked vessels. The minimally invasive procedure is performed in a specially equipped interventional neuroscience operating room at Valley.
A MERCI retrieval procedure may be used to treat an embolic/ischemic stroke, one in which a blood clot has blocked blood flow and oxygen to the brain. During this procedure, a neurointerventionalist threads a coil into the femoral artery in the patient’s groin and then moves it up to the blood vessel in the brain that contains the blood clot. A corkscrew device called MERCI grabs the clot and removes it, freeing up blood to once again pass through the blood vessel. Once the procedure is over, the patient is brought to our Neuroscience ICU for continued care and monitoring.
Also used to treat an embolic/ischemic stroke, the Penumbra device is similar to a MERCI device, but Penumbra breaks up the clot inside the blood vessel and then suctions it out in pieces.